Top row: Thomas Bone, Ezra Bregin, Alexander Cochran and Rachel Cueva
Middle row: Ian Down, Niloy Gupta, Rachel Harvey and Rahul Jain
Bottom row: Joshua Martin, Evan Ruderman, Logan Swaisgood and Catherine Yates
On May 5, the Department of Aerospace Engineering, along with the Clark School of Engineering celebrates more than 70 undergraduate students for their outstanding excellence in academics, leadership, and service during the Annual Honors and Awards Ceremony.
Among the recipients were 12 aerospace engineering students recognized with the following awards:
The Department of Aerospace Engineering Gessow Academic Achievement Awards are presented to those graduating seniors in the department who have attained the highest overall academic average.
Awarded to Ian Down and Niloy Gupta
The Robert M. Rivello Scholarship Awards are presented to those juniors in the department who have attained the highest overall academic average.
Awarded to Rahul Jain, Evan Ruderman, Logan Swaisgood, and Catherine Yates
The Joseph Guthrie Memorial Scholarships are presented to those juniors in the department who have attained the highest overall academic average.
Awarded to Thomas Bone, Ezra Bregin, and Alexander Cochran
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to the student who has made the most outstanding contribution through scholarship and service to the student branch and the department.
Awarded to Rachel Cueva
The Department of Aerospace Engineering Chair’s Award is presented to the student who has made the most outstanding contributions through excellence in academics and outstanding service and leadership to the department.
Awarded to Rachel Cueva, Rachel Harvey, and Joshua Martin
The Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics Award is presented to the student who has made the most outstanding contribution through scholarship and service to the organization and the department.
Awarded to Rachel Harvey
About the Awardees (in alphabetical order)
Thomas Bone is a junior with a 4.0 GPA. He is pursuing his second bachelor’s degree after previously earning a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College. He spent twelve years as co-owner and CAO of an employee benefits administration business, which merged with a partner company where he served as a Vice President. Thomas then made the decision to return to school and is currently working as a ground test co-op with Sikorsky Aircraft.
Ezra Bregin is a junior pursuing degrees in both aerospace engineering and physics while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He is part of the Aerospace Engineering Honors Program where he is working on his thesis on the onboard perception of drone swarms. Ezra is involved with various student organizations including the Terrapin Rocket Team where he is the Structures & Dynamics team lead. Ezra has interned at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and will continue to work there this coming summer. His passion for aviation takes him outside of the classroom where he is working to obtain his private pilot certificate.
Alexander Cochran is a junior with a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the University Honors program and an alumnus of the First Year Innovation and Research Program (FIRE) Program Autonomous Unmanned Systems Stream. He has served as an undergraduate teaching fellow for an introductory physics class as well as an academic match tutor for the aerospace engineering department. Alexander has worked as an intern at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center supporting satellite rendezvous missions and plans to continue working this summer in space systems.
Rachel Cueva is a senior and a member of the Gemstone Honors College and Aerospace Engineering Honors Program. She is the Chair of UMD’s chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is involved with the Nearspace Balloon Payload Program. She conducts her honors research on electrostatic dust lofting on asteroids and her Gemstone research on robotic maintenance of space habitats. Additionally, Rachel is a Pathways Engineering Intern at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center where she works on the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.
Ian Down is a senior with a 3.990 GPA. He has completed the First Year Innovation and Research Program (FIRE) Program in the Autonomous Systems Stream and is a member of the Aerospace Honors Program. He has interned at Northstar Aerospace, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, and Northrop Grumman Space Systems. Upon graduation, Ian will again intern at Northrop Grumman Space Systems as a Guidance, Navigation, and Control Engineer before entering into a Ph.D. program focused on Spacecraft Dynamics and Control in fall 2021.
Niloy Gupta is a senior, double majoring in aerospace engineering and mathematics with a 4.0 GPA. He was in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Honors Program and on the ex-ABC research project, where he developed the flight systems for a novel fixed-pitch electric coaxial helicopter. He is a member of the Sigma Gamma Tau and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor societies, serving as the latter’s Webmaster. Currently, Niloy is the Chief Engineer of UMD’s Design Build Fly team and is doing research on flow measurement. He will begin graduate school this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in hypersonic aerodynamics.
Rachel Harvey is a senior and a member of the University Honors Gemstone Research program on Team ASTRO. In Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WIAA), she serves as president and was previously public relations chair. She is a teaching assistant and dialogue facilitator for the Gemstone Honors College and serves as the co-chair of the Gemstone Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Rachel has been accepted to Georgia Tech for graduate school to begin her studies towards a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.
Rahul Jain is a junior with a minor in astronomy. He is a member of University Honors and Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House. He is the creative director of Erasable Inc., UMD’s all-improvised performance group. He is also part of various diversity initiatives on campus to help underrepresented students find a community in STEM. Rahul has always loved space and currently does research with the Planetary Surfaces and Spacecraft Lab. His career goal is to contribute to space exploration missions with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Joshua Martin is a senior with a 3.97 GPA. He is a member of the Aerospace Honors Program and the University Honors program. He has worked at the UMD Space Systems Lab for three years on space robotics research for astronaut assistance and in-space assembly applications. Josh is treasurer of the UMD chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has interned at both NASA Goddard and at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He aims to pursue a Ph.D. towards a future career in research into extreme environment robotics for scientific exploration.
Evan Ruderman is a junior with a 4.0 GPA. He is an intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab supporting the Psyche mission. Last summer, he designed flight hardware for Starship at SpaceX, and interned twice at NASA Goddard analyzing vibrations on the James Webb Space Telescope. Evan is a member of the Aerospace Honors Program and co-founded the Autocycle research team through the University’s Gemstone Honors Program. He also directs the UMD Sustainability Mini-Grant Committee.
Logan Swaisgood is a junior in the Gemstone Honors Program. As the Construction Subteam Lead on Team Autocycle, he designs and builds custom systems that help stabilize a self-driving bicycle. He spends his time working with UMD Loop and serving as a Clark School Ambassador. He has studied abroad three times, including a semester in Madrid, Spain. Logan is currently working on a Mars Helicopter research project at the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, holds membership in the Adele H. Stamp Chapter of Mortar Board, and will join the Tau Beta Pi Association in 2021.
Catherine Yates is a junior and member of Theta Tau, a co-ed professional engineering fraternity, and the UMD Loop team. As part of UMD Loop, Catherine is a co-lead for the excavation system for a micro tunnel-boring machine which will compete in the Not-A-Boring Competition this summer. She has also served as a teaching fellow for the Aerospace Profession I course within the aerospace engineering department.
We proudly recognize our students on their 2021 departmental and college-wide awards. To those graduating this year, we wish you well in your future endeavors.
Visit eng.umd.edu/undergraduate-honors-awards/2021 to learn more about all of the Clark School awards 2021 recipients.
May 4, 2021